The Olympic dream lives on for Ireland Men and Ireland Women Sevens sides with both qualifying for the 2016 World Rugby Global Olympic Repêchage next June.
Ireland Women qualified in second place having progressed to the final via a 40 – 0 win against Germany in the quarter-final and a 28 – 5 win against Portugal in the semi-final. In the final they came up against, their old nemesis, Spain, who once again pipped them to the post, a last minute converted try giving the Spanish a 26 – 19 win.
In the case of the Women it was a case of achieving their stated aim of Global Repêchage qualification though they will be slightly disappointed that they didn’t lay down a marker for next season against the Spanish.
The Men, it has to be said, exceeded expectations with their third place finish. I’d put them down for fifth place in my preview and considering they had qualified as bottom seeds I thought that was being generous.
However they turned the tournament on it’s head in their first game of the tournament yesterday, battling to a 19 – 19 draw against top seeds, and eventual winners, Russia. A result which gave them a favourable draw in today’s quarter-finals.
The Men progressed to the semi-finals with a 17 – 0 win against Lithuania but once again they faced the Russians who’s tournament experience came to the fore as they pulled out a comfortable 24 – 10 win.
This left Ireland facing Georgia for the final qualification spot for next years Global Repêchage in the third place play off and three quick tries in the first half were enough to see them through, winning 15 – 7 to top off a remarkable first season.
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